A Veterinary Technician…..by any other name smells just as sweet

Michelle Willis, CVT, RVT
Veterinary Information Specialist

Here at Pet Poison Helpline® we have over 50 Credentialed Veterinary Technicians that make up our staff. Not only are we (obviously) animal lovers, but we have all committed ourselves professionally to the field. We have all endured rigorous formal education, extensive clinical hours and several licensing tests and requirements to be able to legally call ourselves “Veterinary Technicians”. That sacred title is one that represents all that we do. We perform the following duties: all facets of general nursing, radiography, phlebotomy, surgical assisting, anesthesia monitoring, medication administration, client education, behavior counseling, diet education, pharmacy duties and housekeeping, to name a few. While our positions here at the Pet Poison Helpline® may differ physically, our backgrounds and experience drive us the same.

In other countries, Veterinary Technicians are called Veterinary Nurses. Currently in the US, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians (NAVTA) is pursuing standardized labeling of Credentialed Veterinary Technicians as Registered Veterinary Nurses. This has raised some debate in the field about the accuracy of the title, and if the title “nurse” accurately portrays all the tasks that Credentialed Veterinary Technicians do.  There is a large portion of this campaign aimed at providing the public with a more clear idea of what we do, and the level of professional training and investment required in the title.

Veterinary Technicians by nature are a patient’s advocate. We are the ones who spend the majority of time with a patient throughout their medical stay. We see them at their worst often times, and take their progress personally. If you ask me, whether the title Nurse or Technician, it doesn’t change the heart of what we do…whole patient care.


Veterinary Technician Oath

“I solemnly dedicate myself to aiding animals and society by

providing excellent care and services for animals, by

alleviating animal suffering, and by promoting public health.

I accept my obligations to practice my profession conscientiously

and with sensitivity, adhering to the profession’s Code of Ethics,

and furthering my knowledge and competence through a

commitment to lifelong learning.”